Facial Tattoos

Facial tattoos

Facial tattoos: To ink or not to ink? That is the question.

About Facial Tattoos

Indian woman with henna

Just deciding to get inked is a major decision, but getting tattooed on your face is a serious commitment - one that you can't renege on easily.Facial tattoos are highly visible, and next to impossible to hide, and these are usually the very reasons why people want them in the first place. They feel compelled to use their body art to make a statement they can't back away from. Sometimes it's just a desire to rebel against the norm, other times it's a genuine desire to push boundaries and open people's minds to something new.

Whatever the reason for choosing facial art, there is one thing for sure; it's going to get a reaction. Although facial tats have been a common practice among native peoples for centuries, they have not been accepted as well by modern society. A person with body art on his face may find himself the center of attention wherever he goes, and reactions will run the gamut from appreciative to negative to purely curious .

Artist Reluctance

If after a lot of careful thought you decide to go ahead with some facial tattoos, your immediate challenge will be finding an artist who is willing to do the job. The fact is, many tattoo artists refuse to ink faces because of the risks involved.

  • Customer remorse is right at the top of the list. No matter how much you think you are ready to have your face inked, until it's done you just can't predict your final reaction. No artist wants to feel responsible for participating in someone else's bad decision.
  • Facial tissue is far more delicate and difficult to tattoo than typical tat sites like arms, legs and torsos. Many artists will shy away from face work because it's hard to be sure the tat will turn out as expected, and it puts their reputation on the line.
  • Facial tats are exposed to a lot of sunlight that can cause them to fade more than normal. Many artists will offer to do touch ups, but the more times ink is refreshed the more opportunity there is for scarring. Again, most artists don't want to chance becoming involved in a tat gone wrong.
  • Even if you love your facial tattoo, others may not. This includes prospective employers, law enforcement, family members, love interests and just about anyone else you can think of who has the power to affect your life. Most artists genuinely care about their clients and realize that facial tattoos can be life-altering, and not always in a good way. Many elect to steer clear of the potential for trouble.

Forging Ahead

Assuming you find a willing artist, you'll need to decide what kind of artwork you'd like to have.Choices might include:

  • Tribal Designs- These are traditionally black ink images.
  • Moko- This is the traditional Maori facial design, and is also considered a tribal design.
  • Extreme tattoos- These usually cover a significant portion of the face and can be very imaginative.
  • Cosmetic tattoos- Tattoos meant to serve as permanent makeup, including eye liner, lipstick, etc.

Laser Removal of Facial Tattoos

man with face tattoos

Of course, if you are truly unhappy with your new tattoos you can have them removed, but you shouldn't depend on this when you get one.Laser tattoo removal has greatly improved with the advent of the Q-switched laser. This device can break up tattoo ink into minuscule particles for your immune system to carry away, but the results are not always perfect. While the ghost of a tattoo on your upper arm might not be such a big deal, imagine living with one on your face?

This is just one more reason to think long and hard before you commit to permanent facial ink.

A Final Suggestion

If you're truly serious about getting facial tattoos, try one on for size before you commit to the real thing.

Pick your design and find a henna artist to create some temporary tats on your face. Then live with those tats for the next few weeks. By the time the henna begins to fade, you'll have had a small taste of society's reaction to your facial art. Perhaps you'll decide that permanent ink is not the way to go. On the other hand, the experience may actually strengthen your commitment to go for it.

Whatever you decide, you'll at least have done everything you could to help you make a decision you can live with, and you will have to live with your facial tats so be sure they're what you really want.

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